Batman: Gotham Knight

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This article is about the animated film; for the Batman comic series, see Batman: Gotham Knights.
Batman: Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight.jpg
Home video release poster
Directed by Chief Director:
Toshi Hiruma
Bruce Timm
Co-Director:
Shojiro Nishimi
Futoshi Higashide
Hiroshi Morioka
Yasuhiro Aoki
Toshiyuki Kubooka
Jong-Sik Nam[1]
Produced by Toshi Hiruma
Eiko Tanaka
Bruce Timm
Emma Thomas
Benjamin Melniker
Michael Uslan
Screenplay by Brian Azzarello
Josh Olson
David S. Goyer
Greg Rucka
Jordan Goldberg
Alan Burnett
Supervising writer:
Toshi Hiruma
Bruce Timm
Story by Jordan Goldberg
Based on Characters 
by Bob Kane
Bill Finger
Starring Kevin Conroy
Gary Dourdan
David McCallum
Jim Meskimen
Ana Ortiz
Music by Christopher Drake
Robert Kral
Kevin Manthei
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • July 8, 2008 (2008-07-08)
Running time 76 minutes
Country Japan
United States
Language English
Box office $8,168,149[2]

Batman: Gotham Knight is a 2008 direct-to-DVD anthology film of six short animated superhero films intended to be set in between the films Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008), though it is not canon with series. It depicts Batman battling against the mob of Gotham City, as well as other villains. The producers have acknowledged that it is not necessarily meant to be canon to the "Nolanverse," and any of the six segments could easily fall into almost any Batman continuity. The shorts, or segments, are written by Josh Olson, David S. Goyer, Brian Azzarello, Greg Rucka, Jordan Goldberg and Alan Burnett. Although all based on Japanese anime art style, each segment has its own writing and artistic style, just as the works from the DC Universe, and with the same style of The Animatrix although some segments are connected.[3][4] All six films of the feature star Kevin Conroy, reprising his voice role as Batman from the DC animated universe.

It is similar to another tie-in, The Animatrix, as both are collections of short animated films relating to their respective series. It is the third in the line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies released by Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation; with the first two releases being Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, (followed by Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight). It is rated PG-13 for stylized violence, including some bloody images.[5] Gotham Knight is the second animated Batman film to be rated PG-13 (the first being the uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker). This film is notable for being the first DC Original Animated movie to have a connection with another Batman medium. While Superman: Doomsday and Justice League: The New Frontier have been released in the United Kingdom with a 12 rating, Batman: Gotham Knight is being accompanied with a 15 certificate for "images of bloody violence and injury". The film aired on Cartoon Network on October 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm with a TV-14-V rating and an exclusive parental warning after each commercial break, with a few of the more graphic scenes cut.

Segments[edit]

Have I Got a Story for You (Studio 4°C)[edit]

Have I Got a Story for You was written by Josh Olson and animated by Studio 4°C. A street kid meets with his three friends at a skate park. All three of them claim to have seen Batman earlier that day. Batman's battle with the Man in Black, a high-tech criminal, is told in reverse chronological order, with three very different interpretations of Batman's form and abilities: one describes him as a living shadow that can melt away and reappear at will (similar to Vampire Batman), another describes him as a half-human, half-bat creature (similar to Man-Bat), and one describes him as a combat robot that can leap tall buildings in a single bound. At the end, Batman pursues the Man in Black to the skate park, and captures him with the help of the fourth street kid. The fourth kid is able to see what Batman truly is after seeing him sustain injuries from the battle: a very human warrior in a costume. He proceeded to tell his experience to his friends after Batman disappeared.

NOTE: Though the film credits give "story by" acknowledgment to first-time writer Jordan Goldberg, Josh Olson acknowledged it was actually based on a very similar story by Frank Robbins called "The Batman Nobody Knows".[6] The story was first printed in Batman #250 in 1973, and subsequently adapted as "Legends of the Dark Knight" in The New Batman Adventures. According to Olson: "The first time it's stealing, the second time it's borrowing, the third time you're creating a genre".[6] Also, the three different versions of the man in black have many similarities to other members of Batman's Rogues gallery, though they all resemble a member of the League of Shadows. The first story features a tech-wielding villain who has teeth similar to Killer Croc, the second uses a jetpack, and the third has similarities to the villain Deadshot. Also, the Batman of the second encounter is very similar to the villain Man-Bat. When the Man in Black is seen by all the teenagers, he has no identifiable characteristics. Lastly, the story is told backwards, with the kid who claims he saw Batman most recently going first, ending with the kid who actually saw him first.

Cast[edit]

Crossfire (Production I.G)[edit]

Crossfire was written by Greg Rucka and animated by Production I.G.. Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez are partners and members of the Major Crimes Unit that have been hand-picked by Lieutenant James Gordon. The two are assigned to take the recently captured Man in Black (who was captured during Have I Got A Story For You), revealed to be Jacob Feely, an escaped inmate from Arkham Asylum with an expertise in advanced electronics and explosives back to Arkham Asylum (which most of the Narrows has been converted into following the incident in Batman Begins). On their way, they argue over whether Batman can be trusted, with Allen saying that they are just running errands for a vigilante, while Ramirez replies that Batman has changed Gotham for the better. As they are heading back, Allen declares his intention to leave the MCU, and Ramirez pulls into a vacant lot to confront Allen. However, the two get caught in a confrontation between gangs, The Russian Mob and Sal Maroni's gang. Maroni's men are gunned down and Maroni takes refuge behind Allen and Ramirez's patrol car which The Russian subsequently destroys with a rocket launcher. Ramirez and Maroni manage to get clear in time while Allen is rescued by Batman who proceeds to take out The Russian and his men. Sal Maroni then threatens to kill Ramirez, but he too is dispatched by Batman. Batman recognizes Allen and Ramirez as Gordon's hand-picked officers and remarks that Gordon is a good judge of character, and disappears.

Cast[edit]

Field Test (Bee Train)[edit]

Field Test was written by Jordan Goldberg and animated by Bee Train. An accident involving a new WayneCom satellite's gyroscopic electromagnetic guidance system gives Lucius Fox an idea to create a device with the satellite's gyro with an advanced sound sensor that will electromagnetically deflect small-arms fire. Bruce Wayne takes the device and attends a charity golf tournament being held by developer Ronald Marshall, with whom he discusses the mysterious death of a woman, Teresa Williams, who had opposed some of Marshall's plans. During the tournament, Wayne secretly takes Marshall's PDA device. Later that night, as Batman, he hijacks a boat owned by Sal Maroni and drives it alongside a boat owned by rival gang leader, The Russian, and proceeds to attack both gangs at once, with assistance from his new device. He attempts to force a truce between the two gang leaders until he can get evidence against them and that Sal Maroni and the Russian can then argue who gets the top bunk at Blackgate Penitentiary. The discussion is disrupted when one of Maroni's men fires at him. The bullet deflects and instead hits one of The Russian's men. Distressed, Batman takes the injured man to the hospital. Later, he returns the device to Fox, stating, "... it works too well: I'm willing to put my life on the line to do what I have to. But it has to be mine, no one else's."

Cast[edit]

In Darkness Dwells (Madhouse)[edit]

In Darkness Dwells, was written by David S. Goyer and animated by Madhouse. The police respond to a riot in a cathedral where Cardinal O'Fallon was giving a sermon. According to eyewitness testimony, the Cardinal was abducted by a large lizard-like monster and taken down into the crypts below the cathedral. Lieutenant Gordon, Crispus Allen, and Anna Ramirez investigate. Gordon has a brief conversation with Batman, who agrees with Gordon's theory that the Scarecrow's fear toxin is behind the riot as the doctor has been at large since the riot at the Narrows (during the event of Batman Begins). Batman gives Gordon an earpiece that will allow them to stay in contact and descends below ground, trying to find Cardinal O'Fallon and his abductor. A homeless man living in an abandoned subway station identifies the abductor as Killer Croc. Batman and Gordon briefly discuss the villain's past, but are cut off when Killer Croc himself shows up under the influence of the fear toxin and attacks Batman. Batman defeats him, but not before sustaining a bite that transfers some of the toxin to him. He then finds Cardinal O'Fallon being put on trial and sentenced to death by the Scarecrow (who is unhappy with O'Fallon's efforts to help the homeless). Batman leaps in to defend the Cardinal. Using the methane already present in the room, he sparks an explosion that destroys several water pipes, flooding the area and allowing him to escape with the Cardinal. While Scarecrow escapes, Gordon appears in a helicopter to retrieve the Cardinal. Gordon offers to help Batman, but Batman refuses, saying "Maybe next time."

Cast[edit]

Working Through Pain (Studio 4°C)[edit]

Working Through Pain was written by Brian Azzarello and animated by Studio 4°C. Continuing on from In Darkness Dwells, Batman is shot in the stomach by a man hallucinating in the sewers of Gotham. He cauterizes the wound and attempts to get out from underground, reflecting on his experiences with managing pain as he does so. First, he remembers volunteering with a relief effort and assisting a doctor in performing surgery without anesthesia. Next, he reflects on the lessons he learned from a woman named Cassandra, who was cast out of her community for disguising herself as a boy in an attempt to become a Fakir. Over several months, she teaches him to minimize his pain to the point where he can control it, sleeping on a bed of needles or standing on hot coals without reacting. One night, several young men appear to harass Cassandra, who takes their blows without seeming to feel them. Bruce steps in to defend her, not only demonstrating his ability to withstand their attacks, but defeating them all with his martial arts skills. Cassandra then tells him to leave, saying that he has learned what he came to learn. She then comments on how Bruce's pain was beyond her, or possibly even his, ability to handle, but how it also appeared to be leading him down a path he desired. Back in the present, Batman ends up in a gutter, where he discovers a cache of guns buried in the garbage. Alfred arrives to assist him and tells Batman to give him his hand so he can pull him out of the gutter, but Batman, arms full of guns, replies that he cannot.

Cast[edit]

Deadshot (Madhouse)[edit]

Deadshot was written by Alan Burnett and animated by Madhouse. Bruce Wayne has a flashback to the murder of his parents. In his penthouse, he examines the firearms he took from the underground tunnel's gutter (during the event of Working Through Pain) which he intends to turn in to the police. Wayne admits to Alfred that even though he vowed never to use them in the memory of his parents, he can still understand the temptation to use one. Meanwhile, in another city, a prodigious assassin known as Deadshot carries out an assassination on a local mayor named Mayor Manning with a spectacularly difficult shot from a moving ferris wheel literally miles away from the man and returns to his tropical base. There, one of his associates hires him to carry out a hit in Gotham. It is revealed that The Russian has put out a hit on Lieutenant Gordon, and Batman is called in to protect him. Batman gives Crispus Allen Ronald Marshall's handheld PDA device (which he stole as Bruce Wayne in Field Test), containing a link to encrypted e-mails proving that Ronald Marshall hired Deadshot in the past. He then follows Gordon's motorcade, with Alfred providing satellite-imagery assistance using the new WayneCom satellites. Deadshot attempts to shoot Gordon from a moving train, but Batman deflects the bullet. Deadshot then gleefully reveals that Batman was his real target the entire time and that the threat against Gordon was merely a ruse to draw him out. He opens fire as the train enters a tunnel and as Batman attempts to charge Deadshot, he is injured falling off the train. Deadshot advances to where he saw Batman fall, gloating, but is ambushed from behind and disarmed. He and Ronald Marshall are arrested. Wayne confides to Alfred about how similar the fight in the tunnel seemed to the night his parents were murdered and comments that "I've been trying to stop those two bullets all my life." He expresses discouragement, and Alfred agrees, but adds that he thinks Bruce has a higher purpose. Bruce then looks up at the sky and sees the Bat-Signal.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Batman: Gotham Knight - Soundtrack from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie
Film score by Christopher Drake, Robert J. Kral, and Kevin Manthei
Released July 29, 2008
Length 63:10
Label La La Land Records

The soundtrack for Batman: Gotham Knight was released on July 29, 2008 by La La Land Records.[7] The music for Gotham Knight, while being an original score, contains samples of earlier and notable Batman themes from past media. For example, in "Crossfire", when Batman saves Crispus Allen from an explosion by launching him onto a rooftop, his appearance (for the first time in the short) is marked by the distinctive choral Batman theme introduced in Danny Elfman's 1989 score to the film Batman. The tracklist is as follows.[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

Based on 6 reviews collected from Rotten Tomatoes, Batman: Gotham Knight has an overall approval rating of 83%, with a weighted average score of 7.4/10.[10] Three months prior to the release, the first review for Batman: Gotham Knight appeared on The World's Finest website. The review gave the movie a generally favorable response, stating, "it’s something new and entirely fresh for the Dark Knight and that alone is worth checking out if you’re a DC Animation fan."[11] The World's Finest website also labeled its advice as "Recommended".[12]

DVD[edit]

Batman: Gotham Knight was released on both single and two-disc DVD editions, and in a double pack with the two-disc version of Batman Begins, as well as a Blu-ray version on July 8, 2008.[13]

The special features on the single-disc edition contain an audio commentary of the film by Gregory Noveck, Dennis O'Neil and Kevin Conroy, as well as a sneak peek at the next movie of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line: Wonder Woman.[14] It is also including trailers and advertisements of The Dark Knight, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lego Batman and Popeye The Sailor 1938-1940 (vol. 2). The Target edition also includes the first two episodes of Batman Beyond. The Blockbuster Inc. edition comes with a second disc with a digital copy of the Batman: Year One graphic novel (Batman #404-407).

The Two-Disc and Blu-ray Editions of the film contain the above mentioned special features as well as a documentary titled Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story, a featurette exploring Batman and the Gotham villains he faces titled A Mirror for the Bat, as well as four episodes from Batman: The Animated Series (see below), presented by Bruce Timm. WalMart and Target both released store exclusive versions of the Single-Disc Edition of the film, both with different box covers/sleeves. WalMart's is a holographic cover/sleeve and Target's is a holographic cover/sleeve that can be hidden or shown. Certain Best Buy stores released a special edition for the Two-Disc Edition which came in a Steelbook case and came with a mini-encyclopedia to the characters in the movie as well as Batman's weapons and vehicles, and a coupon for $3.00 off concessions when the buyer sees The Dark Knight.

The four episodes from Batman: The Animated Series attached are:[15]

The DVD was advertised as the "first animated Batman movie to be rated PG-13", but this is misleading. The uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000) was also rated PG-13. The film has sold over 390,000 copies on DVD, and has grossed $8 million, making it the second highest grossing film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, just behind Superman Doomsday, which grossed over $9 million.[2]

A DVD (Blu-ray Disc for PlayStation 3) of the movie was bundled with the Collectors Edition of Batman: Arkham City, which was released on October 18, 2011.

Novelization[edit]

Comic book veteran Louise Simonson wrote a novel adaptation of the feature, published by Ace Books. It was released on May 27, 2008. ISBN 0-441-01613-8 ISBN 978-0441016136. Reviews for the novelization have been positive.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Finest - DC Universe - Batman: Gotham Knight". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Batman: Gotham Knight - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Nash Information Service. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Batman: Gotham Knight". Wizard. December 2007. p. 101. 
  4. ^ "at Anime News Network Online". Animenewsnetwork.com. 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ Brevet, Brad (2008-04-02). "Latest MPAA Ratings: #99 | Movie News | RopeofSilicon.com Entertainment News". Ropeofsilicon.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  6. ^ a b "CBR News: WW Chicago: "Batman: Gotham Knight" World Premiere". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. ^ "The World's Finest". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ "The World's Finest". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. ^ "La La Land Records". La La Land Records. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  10. ^ Batman: Gotham Knight @ Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  11. ^ "1st Published Review (The World's Finest)". Worldsfinestonline.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  12. ^ "The World's Finest - DC Universe - Batman: Gotham Knight". Worldsfinestonline.com. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  13. ^ "Gotham Knight Gallery". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  14. ^ "Single-disc DVD information". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  15. ^ "Two-disc DVD information". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  16. ^ "The World's Finest". Worldsfinestonline.com. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 

External links[edit]